- Elizabeth Cameron-Smith
Day 62 - Rest day in Milan, Italy
Updated: Jun 24, 2019
A day to do bike maintenance, washing, sorting out panniers and organizing all the bits and bobs!
Grant stayed in an apartment in Milan, owned by a wonderful man who was the most generous host!
The location was fantastic, there was a lot of space and the real bonus besides the washing machine was the wonderful traditional coffee pot and the fresh produce provided by Ivano the host, who even helped Grant carry his bike up the stairs.
Crazybikeguy needed to replace his tires as they were worn and had tears in them.He set off to the bike shop. It was a fair distance to walk with two tires in hand so he took a cab.The driver spoke good English and chatted to Grant and inevitably the conversation turned to Grant's mission.He was so taken by what Grant was doing that he only charged Crazybikeguy five Euros for a ride that would have cost more than double that- pleased that he could contribute in some way. After visiting one bike shop that couldn't help, Grant found La Bicicletteria whose owner was just the nicest guy and who was very helpful.He had what Grant needed and he also generously reduced the price of the tires as his contribution to our cause!
Doing maintenance on the bike is always a bit of a challenge as there is usually not much space in rented rooms and because of all the special additions like phone holders and GPS mounts etc, one can't just flip the bike over to work on it.He moved all the furniture in the apartment kitchen, lay the bike down and then proceeded to do maintenance.
Grant knew that besides the tire issue he also had to replace the valves as they had given him some trouble.
A visit to the Duomo at lunch time was the break from maintenance that Grant needed, he caught the very efficient Metro( which is very easy to navigate as the instructions and maps are all in English too) there to take some photos and to soak up some the chic city's vibe.Well dressed locals, lots of beautifully attired men and women riding their bikes while chatting on mobile phones, people walking their dogs and a bustling vibe with buskers and tourists in the main square awaited him.
There was a lot of activity around the Duomo as they were setting up for a concert in the piazza and surprisingly a lot of police presence.
A visit to the Bianchi bike shop- which Grant had heard so much about- was a revelation as there was little to do with the actual bikes but more to do with the lifestyle centered around them.The store incorporated a coffee shop, restaurant and then a small area dedicated to the actual bikes!
A long walk back to the apartment and back to bike maintenance and reassembling as well as cleaning the bike and getting organized to leave again the following day, took much of what was left of this rest day.
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